4 die in crash of medical helicopter in Texas

/ Source: The Associated Press

A medical helicopter crashed early Sunday en route to a hospital and killed four people, including the 3-month-old patient and his mother.

A nurse was critically injured in the crash near Pyote, said CeCe Wilmes, head of emergency services at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, where the helicopter was based. The crash site is about 40 miles southwest of Odessa.

The baby was having trouble breathing and was being taken from a hospital in Alpine in southwest Texas to University Medical Center in Lubbock, Wilmes said.

Wilmes said pilot Mickey Price was giving his flight coordinates to a dispatcher about 30 minutes after taking off when he said “Hold on a minute.”

A minute later, Price did not respond to the dispatcher. The Texas Department of Public safety was called and officials located the downed helicopter at about 6 a.m.

The dead were identified as Price, of Dumas; hospital paramedic Paul Lujan of Midland and Ana Lillia Urias and her 3-month-old son, Pedro Urias Modesto, whose hometown in Mexico was unknown, said William Webster, chief executive officer of Medical Center Hospital.

Urias had brought her child across the border from Mexico to seek medical help, Wilmes said.

Medical Center Hospital registered nurse Ronald Stephens, 35, of Midland, underwent surgery at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock and was listed in critical condition, Wilmes said.